By Kristian Cuaresma
Here are five things to highlight from NetsGC’s 73-60 victory over Grizz Gaming
1 – Just What the Doctor Ordered
All it took was a gamertag change for Doc to put up a show-stopping 32 points in the team’s season opener. No longer the rookie that his current backcourt partner is, Doc has always expected to take on more of a leadership role both off and on the sticks. Outside the game, the young two-guard involved himself in the draft process. Meanwhile, on the virtual hardwood, he proved last night he’s ready to be heavily involved offensively. While Doc’s 32 points were undeniably impressive, it was his efficiency (8-of-12 from deep) and his 5-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio that displayed his growth.
2 – Not Your Season Four NetsGC
NetsGC’s Season Four offense was one-of-a-kind. Finishing in the top three in nearly every notable offensive category, it was not a surprise when the team finished with 100 points or more. However, Brooklyn’s potential was always capped by its leaky defense, particularly when the offense stalled. It was only one game but last night’s defensive performance was refreshing and something NetsGC fans often didn’t see last year. Brooklyn limited Memphis to 60 points, a feat the team achieved only twice in 34 games during the regular season and the playoffs. Credit to Streetz for spearheading this change.
3 – The Vocal Leaders
Another highlight of the defense occurred outside the game when the NBA 2K League broadcast cut to a live “Listen-In,” a segment that gives viewers an opportunity to listen to a team’s internal communications. When NetsGC became the focus, fans were treated to an intense back-and-forth on the mic, particularly with newly acquired power forward Steez. The veteran was directing traffic on the defensive end, calling out different plays and actions to look out for. The leadership the veteran provides cannot be measured and it’ll be great to see him take the younger members of the team under his wing.
4 – Still Loading
If there was one aspect to last night’s matchup that didn’t play out the way NetsGC had hoped, it was the debut of Tate, the 19-year-old point guard. The youngest player on the team finished with just seven points on low percentages. Fortunately for Brooklyn, clear expectations have been set for the rookie, and with those expectations comes an assumed learning curve his teammates have grown comfortable with. Tate has previously shown flashes of elite play in scrimmages and the leaders around him expect that it’ll only be a matter of time before he consistently puts it together. The most impressive element to his game last night was his playmaking, as Tate would go on to finish with a staggering 12 assists to go with just one turnover.
5 – No False Starts in Brooklyn
With only five games on the schedule during group play, there’s an elevated level of importance early on that was missing in previous seasons. NetsGC needs to finish in the top four in a pool of six teams to qualify for the LAN playoffs in Indianapolis, and getting off to a fast start should do wonders for the team’s psyche, especially as rookies Tate and Streetz settle in. On the other side, Brooklyn had to deal with a desperate and gritty Memphis squad that realized it was fighting for its playoff life. With Grizz Gaming going down 0-2, it opens the possibility of an early downward spiral for at least one team in the group.